May 12, 2019 Easter IV

Pope Francis’ Prayer Intention for May 2019:

The Church in Africa, a Seed of Unity

That the Church in Africa, through the commitment of its members, may be the seed of unity among her peoples and a sign of hope for this continent.

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Jesus the Good Shepherd

Jesus the Good Shepherd by Marilena Berardinelli Following the events of the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus the first Christian communities sought to keep the memory of Jesus alive. Initially, they did so through oral narratives, then by committing the stories in writing in the forms of letters and gospels. These writings would eventually […]

The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

Just another children’s program? The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd began in 1954 in Rome by Hebrew and Scripture scholar Sofia Cavaletti and her Montessori trained collaborator Gianna Gobbi. Guided by Montessori principles, this unique catechetical approach has as its mission to nurture the religious potential of the child, articulated in an essential curriculum that places the child’s encounter with God at its centre.

A classroom for children? The Atrium is a purposefully designed space that supports the relationship between God and the child, in a manner that meets the child’s developmental, intellectual and spiritual needs. It is not a classroom for instruction, but a place for community and worship in which the catechist and child listen, wonder and together ask, “God, who are you? How do you love us?” In early church architecture, an atrium was a gathering place between the liturgical space of the church and the street. It was a space where the faithful recollected themselves before entering into worship and where catechumens received instruction in the faith as part of their initiation into the Christian community. The Atrium in our parish serves a similar purpose. As such, it is neither a drop off program or daycare, nor a child’s church separate from the adult church. Rather the Atrium is an aid to the fuller participation of children in the liturgical and communal life of the one church that includes baptized Christians of all ages.

The child’s “work”? After discovering a room devoted entirely to the religious formation of children, adults next remark on the catechetical material found in the room. Often and inaccurately referred to as “props”, these carefully and specifically designed materials are for “the work” of the child and are used by the child to foster meditation and prayer. “The catechetical material is a way of letting the child prolong the meditation begun with the adult.” (Sofia Cavalletti, the Religious Potential of the Child)

How does sorting beads, lacing cards or a pasting activity help my child to pray? In keeping with the Montessori method, the materials in the “Practical Life” section of the Atrium help the child gain control of their movements and develop their concentration, thus cultivating an independence where they can later be shown “a work” and execute it on their own. This discipline to slow down, is the building block to the child’s quiet contemplation and “enjoyment of God.” “Help me to come closer to God by myself”.


The community of St. Basil’s extends our heartfelt congratulations to the children of our parish who encountered Jesus the Good Shepherd in the Eucharist for the first time:

Soraya Colas, Adrian Vieta Diaz, Juliana Lerch, Heather O’Dor, Simon O’Dor, Eliot Park, Anna-Sopia Porup, Mia Vogel-Alexiou, Nico Vogel-Alexiou

We also recognize the commitment of their parents who journeyed with them this year and who dedicate themselves to the building of the domestic church, shaped by the love of the Good Shepherd.


Living the Gospel by helping those with addictions

It had been two years since Adam spoke in full sentences. When he moved into Covenant House’s housing program, he would only say a word or two. Over time, a youth worker succeeded at connecting with Adam and he gradually opened up. Adam finished high school and joined a mentorship program, setting his sights on a career in computer science. With his new voice and positive relationships, his future is open to so many possibilities.

June 2 is the next ShareLife Sunday. Thank you for your generosity

Serra Club

The Serra Club of Downtown Toronto invites all parishioners to a luncheon talk on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 following the 12:10 PM Mass. The guest speaker will be Father John O’Brien who is the Vocations Director for the Jesuits of Canada. Originally from British Columbia, Fr. O’Brien lived in the Ottawa Valley, Ontario, as a young man. He attended the Franciscan University of Steubenville and the University of Ottawa studying communications. In 2006 he left Canada to discern his vocation at a program for young Catholic men in Rome and was ordained a priest in 2017. Fr. O’Brien will share with us his discernment process and his vocation story. The lunch and talk will take place immediately after the 12:10 Mass, in Macrina Hall. Please RSVP to the Parish office at (416) 962-7110 for catering purposes.

Clover Hill Park

Work has now begun on Clover Hill Park (on the northwest corner of Saint Joseph St. and Bay St.) and will progress through the spring and summer with expected completion before the end of 2019. The work will connect the park with the walkway which runs perpendicular to Bay Street to the northeast of the church. Added features include new benches, a water fountain, and the planting of additional greenery along the driveway and in the park. For more information regarding the work in Clover Hill Park, please contact Michael at (416) 926-1300 x. 3210 or

Save the Date

This year marks the 100th Anniversary of the installation of Saint Basil’s 1919 Casavant Frères organ. In celebration of this occasion, Saint Basil’s is thrilled to be able to welcome OLIVIER LATRY, Organist of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and Professor of Organ at the Paris Conservatory, for a solo organ concert at Saint Basil’s on the evening of Friday, November 22, 2019. The evening concert will be free, though a reservation will be required through Eventbrite. Reservation details will be made available in the coming months. Stay tuned for more details as they become available! Please contact John Paul Farahat, the Director of Music and Principal Organist, for more information at

Did you Know?

The icon of the shepherd with a lamb on his shoulders or of a shepherd standing amid his flock was common in Roman pagan art as a symbol of philanthropy. “[This was] the common classical image was of the Roman god Mercury carrying a ram in his role as the protector of flocks.” (J.R. Porter, Jesus Christ: The Jesus of History, The Christ of Faith). Christian iconography appropriated the pagan image of the Good Shepherd and reinterpreted its meaning so that it became a metaphor for Christ. Placed in conversation with today’s gospel in which Jesus speaks of himself as the Good Shepherd, the image of the Good Shepherd was used to teach the faithful that those who followed Jesus were known, loved and looked after as would a good and watchful shepherd. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep…I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me…and I lay down my life for the sheep” –John 10.11-12, 14-15

A journey to First Reconciliation and First Communion

At St. Basil’s, the preparation for these Sacraments takes place within the context of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Beginning in the month of October, children gather weekly in the Atrium from 11:30am-12:30pm. At 12:30pm the children, accompanied by their catechists, join the larger Church community for the Eucharistic portion of the Sunday liturgy. Unlike other Sacramental programs that end at First Communion, the children continue in the Atrium until Pentecost, allowing them time to deepen this new aspect of their relationship with Jesus, Bread of Life.

Church Bulletin Advertising

Liturgical Publications is setting up the advertisements for our church bulletin. The advertising will begin in June 2019 and supports the bulletin service. Please support the bulletin and advertise your product or service. For more information, please call Liturgical Publications at (905) 624-4422

PRAY FOR THE SICK, especially, Lucy Rietveld Bowers, Mary O’Brien, Clare DeMello, Erika Farncomb, Roberto Martello, Filomena Larocca, Joseph Troncone, Rebecca Beaton, Gemma Ciavarella, Gordon Walsh, Michael West, Rita Moran, Paul O’Brien, Barbara Boyle, Maria Teresa Blackwell, Margaret Mary McKenzie, Jose Gaitero, Shane Carroll, Romulus DeMello, Neil McCormack, Alexander Wu, Desmond Brownlee, Emilia Perejmybida, Helen Tilston, Marywynne Parke, and Jasper David-Fuchs.

PRAY FOR THE DECEASED, especially, Jean Gracias, and Major Ralph Godfrey

Are you able to make contributions to the bulletin? Please contact our Director of Community Engagement, Michael for more information.